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Psychology Degree Programs in California (A-B)

psychology-degrees-in-californiaIf you're looking for accredited psychology degree programs in California, you're in luck because there are numerous golden opportunities for learning about the human mind and behavior here.

As the most populous and third most expansive state in America, California is jam-packed with high-ranking universities that offer both on-campus and online programs for psychology majors. Since statistics show that one in 20 adults in California suffers from a serious mental illness, there will be no shortage of job opportunities after graduation either.

The following is the first part (A-B) of the many psychology programs available for aspiring mental health specialists in the "Golden State."

Alliant International University

California School of Professional Psychology

Headquartered in sunny San Diego with six campuses statewide, Alliant International University is a private non-profit higher learning institution first formed in 2011. Serving the predominantly post-graduate needs of over 4,100 students, Alliant has been accredited by the WASC and been ranked as the best non-traditional university in California for veterans in Military Times EDGE Magazine. Also approved by the APA, the California School of Professional Psychology attracts the leading experts of the psychological field to produce an active learning environment of practice-based professionalism.

B.S. in Psychology

At the undergraduate level, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Psychology program at Alliant is designed to provide integrative learning and hands-on practical experience in psychology to prepare students for directly entering the workforce or attending graduate school. Offering convenient evening, hybrid, and online courses, the program enables students to graduate in as little as two years with an in-depth understanding of the complexities of human behavior. In the 120-credit curriculum with 260 clock hours of practicum, the program places a strong emphasis on training students to effectively address ecological, socio-cultural, and lifespan problems confronting our communities today.

M.A. in Organizational Psychology

Through a blend of academic theory, research, and professional training, the M.A. in Organizational Psychology program at CSSP is structured from an applied approach to give graduate students the knowledge necessary to work as business internal or external organizational effectiveness consultants. As a two-year full-time program, students are given the freedom to complete the required 50 credits in daytime, executive, evening, hybrid, and/or condensed formats per their needs. In addition to in-class simulations, team projects, and case studies, students will complete a 240-hour supervised internship in the business community for mastering their skills.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Available at the Fresno, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco campuses, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology program is approved by the APA to fulfill all of the California state licensing requirements for professional psychology practice. From a traditionally more academic and research-oriented approach, the Ph.D. program is rooted in the scholar-practitioner model with a strong emphasis on preparation for teaching psychology. Depending on their location, students may specialize in Clinical Forensic, Ecosystemic Child, Clinical Health, Family/Child and Couple, Multicultural Community, or International Psychology. Students in the five-year program will complete 1,800 hours of practicum, a dissertation project, and a year-long internship.

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

As a more practitioner-oriented program, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology is focused on preparing graduate students as powerful agents of change in clinical practice by remedying emotional, mental, intellectual, and social problems challenging people today. Over the course of at least four years, doctoral students will participate in campus-based practica in the Psychological Services Center, complete a dissertation project, and pass a full-time internship. Some of the available emphasis areas are Clinical Forensic, Health, Ecosystemic Child, Correctional, Family/Child, Integrative, Psychodynamic, and Multicultural Psychology. Students can earn their Psy.D. in Fresno, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, or San Francisco.

Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology

At the Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco campuses, the Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology program is offered to develop a thorough understanding on scientific research related to human behavior in the workplace to prepare graduates for effective organizational change. Within the 98-credit curriculum, students can choose a concentration in Strategic Human Resource Management or Executive Coaching. In the final year of the four-year program, students participate in a full-time supervised internship to gain exposure to major corporations, business consulting firms, non-profit organizations, and government agencies.

Doctoral Respecialization Program in Clinical Psychology

For students who have already earned a doctoral degree in another psychological discipline from an APA-accredited institution, the Doctoral Respecialization Program (DRP) in Clinical Psychology is uniquely offered to fulfill licensing needs for practicing as a clinical psychologist within California. Based on students' background, a faculty advisor will create a tailored curriculum of both academic and practical experiences over two to three years. All DRP students are required to complete around 20 hours of supervised practicum weekly at qualified clinical practice sites. Doctoral graduates looking for a career change can join this program at the Fresno, San Diego, or San Francisco campus.

Clinical Psychopharmacology Postdoctoral M.S. Program

Since its inception in 1998 as the first program of its kind nationwide, the Clinical Psychopharmacology Postdoctoral M.S. Program at CSSP is designed to prepare licensed psychologists for safely and effectively prescribing medications in states where they're given prescriptive authorities. Through a blend of biology and psychology, the program strives to make certain that post-doctoral psychologists can provide biopsychosocial treatments for mental disorders while earning APA-approved continuing education credits. Offered fully online to accommodate busy active practitioners, the program is delivered through Elluminate or Moodle for real-time virtual learning.


  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


10455 Pomerado Road
San Diego, CA 92131
(858) 635-4613
Program Link

Argosy University

College of Behavioral Sciences

First established in 2001, Argosy University is a comprehensive private for-profit system of higher learning institutions owned by Education Management Corporation to serve the educational needs of over 24,800 students on 28 locations nationwide and online. Well-known for its flexible learning options for busy adult learners, Argosy is fully accredited by the WASC and has been ranked as the 30th best online college in America by the Guide to Online Schools. In particular, the College of Behavioral Sciences prepares students for applying clinical and scientific research in mental health practice with diverse populations.

B.A. in Psychology

Through a dynamic series of psychology core courses and electives, the B.A. in Psychology program at Argosy helps undergraduate students build a basic foundation of understanding in the social sciences for immediate employment or graduate study. Within the 120-credit curriculum, students have the freedom to elect a concentration in Advanced Studies in Psychology, Criminal Justice, Human Services, Organizational Psychology, Substance Abuse, or Child and Adolescent Studies. The program blends flexible online learning with on-campus accelerated coursework in Los Angeles, Orange County, San Diego, or San Francisco for earning the degree rapidly.

M.A. in Counseling Psychology

Offered in San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, and Inland Empire campus locations, the M.A. in Counseling Psychology program is ideal for Argosy students who are striving to continue professional development to work in a counseling role. Students in this 54-credit program will build upon basic counseling skills to develop more advanced intervention techniques in counseling individuals, families, couples, or other groups. After completing their practicum and passing the Counseling Psychology Competency Exam, graduates will be well-equipped for delivering high-quality, ethical services as licensed professional counselors.

M.A. in Forensic Psychology

At the crossroads of psychology and criminal justice, the M.A. in Forensic Psychology program is designed to train graduate students to utilize their understanding of psychological principles and human behavior theories to make contributions in the legal field. In a convenient delivery format suitable for busy working professionals, the program has both online and on-campus components at the San Francisco, Inland Empire, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego campuses of California. Graduates will have the assessment, evaluation, and research methods necessary for succeeding in forensic practice as forensic psychologists, criminologists, law enforcement officers, government agents, or victim advocates.

M.A. in Sport-Exercise Psychology

Following the curriculum guidelines of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology (AASP), the M.A. in Sport-Exercise Psychology program at Argosy is focused on transforming graduate students into professional psychologists with the abilities to function as capable, ethical human performance enhancement specialists. Within the 30-credit program available in San Francisco, Orange County, the Inland Empire, or online from anywhere, students will expand their knowledge on the physiological and psychosocial aspects of sport behavior. Graduates often seek employment in private practices, athletic departments, personal fitness, health education, exercise medicine, coaching, and physical therapy.

M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology

For students with a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited institution, the M.A. in Industrial-Organizational Psychology program is available online as well as the San Francisco and Inland Empire campuses of California to prepare for master's-level psychologist positions in the business community. In the 36-credit curriculum plan, students will gather an in-depth knowledge on industrial-organizational psychology theories for application in human resources, compensation, employee training, data analysis, strategic planning, organizational development, and management consultation. Most students complete the degree in just 12 months full-time to begin making evidence-based decisions related to the growing I/O psychology field.

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Leading to a Doctor of Psychology degree, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program at Argosy is offered in Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area to prepare graduate students for contributing to their community as practicing, licensed clinical psychologists. Within the five to seven-year program, students are given the freedom to select a concentration in Child and Adolescent Psychology or Forensic Psychology. Due to the program's scholar-practitioner model of training, students are required to complete advanced academic coursework, hands-on practicum, a one-year internship, and a clinical research project for a total of 98 credits.


  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


333 City Boulevard West Suite 1810
Orange, CA 92868
(714) 738-6200
Program Link

Ashford University

College of Health, Human Services, and Science

Based on a main 24-acre urban campus in San Diego within Southern California, Ashford University is a comprehensive private for-profit educational institution operated by Bridgepoint Education to deliver associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Best known for their virtual online learning options that can be earned anywhere with an Internet connection, Ashford has achieved a very high alumni satisfaction rate of 91%. The College of Health, Human Services, and Science is a large academic division that is dedicated to producing effective leaders who can help boost the health and well-being of today's diverse communities.

Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree

Leading to a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), the Online Psychology Bachelor's Degree at Ashford is designed to give undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the depths of human behavior to better understand our motivations, emotions, and mental processes more clearly. Featuring a dynamic 120-credit curriculum, the program is delivered in a convenient online format to develop the fundamentals of ethical psychology practice from anywhere. After introductory courses, students will delve into studying child development, social psychology, personality, physiological psychology, learning, industrial/organizational psychology, statistics, abnormal psychology, and research methods for various career opportunities.


  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


8620 Spectrum Center Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92123
(866) 711-1700
Program Link

Azusa Pacific University

School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences

As the second largest private interdenominational evangelical Christian institution in the United States, Azusa Pacific University is home to over 10,700 students on its main 105-acre suburban campus in the residential hub of Azusa within 23 miles northeast of Los Angeles. Featuring a student-faculty ratio of 14:1, APU is currently ranked as the 173rd best national university in America by the U.S. News and World Report. The School of Behavioral and Applied Sciences is dedicated to equipping leaders with the tools for success in the helping professions through its 15 accredited undergraduate and graduate programs.

B.A. in Psychology

For undergraduate APU students, the B.A. in Psychology program is structured to provide a solid foundation in the science of psychology for fostering a better understanding of the human mind and behavior. Within the 54-credit major, students have the unique opportunity to select an undergraduate concentration in Child Life Specialist, Community, Counseling, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Organizational/Business Psychology, or Psychology and Ministry. Regardless of the chosen specialization, psychology majors will explore psychological sciences from a Christian perspective to apply their faith in both academics and practice.

M.A. in Psychology

Following a 36-credit curriculum plan, the M.A. in Psychology program at APU provides graduate students a broad range of educational experiences for expanding their knowledge of human behavior and integrating God's Word within the psychological sciences. Over the course of 18 to 24 months, students build upon the major core by selecting a concentration in General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, or Industrial/Organizational Psychology. Although the program is offered online, students are given valuable opportunities to perform pertinent research, apply their intervention skills in practical settings, and start impacting other lives.

M.A. in Clinical Psychology: Marriage and Family Therapy

Available in Azusa, the Inland Empire, Orange County, or San Diego, the M.A. in Clinical Psychology program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) is designed for qualified graduate students wishing to provide professional counseling to individuals, couples, and families. Through an interdisciplinary approach that blends psychotherapy with theology and ethics, the program has an intensive 66-credit curriculum that can be completed within two years full-time or four year part-time. Graduates will have the qualifications necessary to seek licensure in California as marriage and family therapists for holistic, spiritual practice.

M.S. in Organizational Psychology

Ideal for graduate students who have received the calling to help businesses flourish, the M.S. in Organizational Psychology program at Azusa Pacific is enriched with Christian values to offer well-rounded preparation in implementing change initiatives that improve organizational health. Over the course of just 16 to 22 months, students complete 39 credits of coursework from a practitioner-scholar approach in Azusa before their master's thesis. From building successful teams and boosting employee morale to creating job satisfaction and directing performance management programs, graduates can confidently enter one of the fastest-growing fields.

M.A.Ed. in Educational Psychology and Ed.S. in School Psychology

With an embedded School Psychology Credential, the M.A.Ed. in Educational Psychology and Ed.S. in School Psychology program is available to provide graduate students with the insightful skills necessary for empowering children to succeed as lifelong learners in today's diverse classroom environments. From a unique Christian perspective, the 66-81 credit program is completed over three years with concentrations in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) or Clinical and Educationally Related Mental Health Counseling. Students who graduate from this program at the Azusa, Inland Empire, or Orange County campuses will be eligible for taking the Praxis II School Psychology Examination for certification.

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology: Family Psychology

Fully approved for excellence by the APA, the Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D.) in Clinical Psychology program has an embedded emphasis in Family Psychology to provide advanced graduate students the chance for developing a breadth of knowledge in interpersonal relations. Based on a systemic perspective, the practitioner-scholar program requires the completion of at least 133 credits, including a dissertation research project and pre-doctoral internship. In the five-year plan, students can also select a concentration in Psychodynamic Systems of Psychotherapy or Family Forensic Psychology. Graduates can pursue licensure as clinical psychologists and/or marriage and family therapists upon completion.


  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


901 East Alosta Avenue
Azusa, CA 91702
(626) 815-6000 ext. 2420
Program Link

Biola University

Rosemead School of Psychology

Nestled on a beautiful 95-acre suburban campus in La Mirada within a 30-minute drive from the heart of Los Angeles, Biola University is one of the country's leading private non-denominational evangelical Christian liberal arts institutions serving more than 6,200 students. As one of just two members of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) placed in the top-tier, Biola is currently ranked as the 161st best national university and 10th top up-and-coming school by the U.S. News and World Report. The Rosemead School of Psychology takes a Christian worldview to nurturing balanced psychologists for research, clinical practice, and teaching.

Psychology Undergraduate Major

Whether students view psychology as a terminal degree, are preparing for careers in ministry, or are looking to attend graduate school, the Psychology Undergraduate Major will develop the broad-based foundation of knowledge on human nature and functioning from a distinct Christian perspective. After taking the seven core psychology courses, students will select a specialization in Clinical/Counseling, Cross-Cultural, Family & Child, General Psychology, Health Psychology, Industrial/Organizational, Psychology & Ministry, or Pre-Graduate School. Junior and senior-level undergraduates also can complete a directed fieldwork internship for academic credit to integrate their classroom knowledge in real-life settings.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology

As a full 130-credit program, the Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology at Biola is designed to accommodate adult learners who wish to complete their degree while maintaining a busy work or life schedule. In a convenient online format with seven-week sessions, students join a media-rich virtual learning environment on Canvas to better understand the human condition. In addition, students will automatically graduate with a Biblical Studies minor with at least 30 units of theology coursework to integrate the truth of God's Word into the study of psychology for faith-centered service to others.

Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology

Founded with the goal of preparing graduate students to conduct scientific, research-driven studies of human behavior with a unique biblical understanding, the Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is fully accredited by the APA to produce psychologists who lead in research and teach within academia. Requiring the completion of at least 133 semester hours, the doctoral program automatically comes with a Minor in Theology to integrate theological concepts in research, theory, and practice. For successful completion, Ph.D. students must build on advanced coursework with psychotherapy lab experiences, comprehensive exams, dissertation research, and a full-time clinical internship in the final fifth year.

Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology

Situated near one of the nation's highest concentrations of clinical practices, the Psy.D. in Clinical Psychology program at Biola is more focused on preparing graduates for clinical work as practitioners to nurture individuals spiritually, emotionally, socially, and intellectually within a supportive Christian environment. Rooted in the theories on how people think, act, and relate to one another, the 133-hour program ensures that doctoral students gather the intervention skills needed to work within today's diverse mental health community. Students will complete practicum at the Biola Counseling Center, psychotherapy lab courses, therapy training, a doctoral dissertation, and a year-long internship at an APA-approved site.


  • American Psychological Association (APA)
  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639
(562) 903-4738
Program Link

Brandman University

School of Arts & Sciences

Initially founded in 1958 as an education center for Chapman University, Brandman University is now a regionally accredited independent non-profit institution focused on providing flexible learning formats for more than 11,000 adult learners at its 26 campuses across California and Washington as well as online virtually. Along with being named a "Military-Friendly School" by GI Jobs Magazine, Brandman is acclaimed for hosting the 31st best online bachelor's programs by the U.S. News and World Report and won a 2014 Leadership 500 Excellence Award. The School of Arts & Sciences uses cross-disciplinary curricula to nurture both intellectual and professional growth in its scholar-practitioners.

B.A. in Psychology

Offered online and on-campus at 24 different locations, the B.A. in Psychology at Brandman is focused on introducing undergraduate students to the essentials of human behavior, thought processes, and psychological science research. Building on a liberal arts core, the 120-credit program blends academic instruction with practical fieldwork, independent research projects, and elective coursework to help students reach their personalized career goals. For those completing a bachelor's degree in another area, there's also a Minor in Psychology offered with a general or applied track of learning.

M.A. in Psychology, Counseling

After developing a broad-based knowledge base on the empirical science of human behavior, the M.A. in Psychology program with an emphasis in Counseling will prepare graduate students for a professional career in the human services to address clinical issues. While exploring research, psychological assessments, treatment options, and group counseling techniques, the 48-credit program fulfills the requirements necessary for pursuing licensure as a Mental Health Counselor. All counseling students also build practical experience under supervision at a state-approved counseling center to apply their therapeutic understanding.

M.A. in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy

With an intensive 60-credit curriculum, the M.A. in Psychology program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy at Brandman is designed to prepare graduate students for putting therapeutic techniques into practice for solving both marital and family problems from a group approach. Students can pursue this program on-campus only at the Antelope Valley, Fairfield, Hanford, Irvine, Modesto, Monterey, Ontario, Palm Desert, Riverside, San Diego, Santa Clarita, Santa Maria, Victorville, Visalia, Yuba City, and Yucaipa locations. Students who pass both academic and practical components are qualified to become Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists in California.

M.A. in Psychology, Professional Clinical Counseling

Available solely on-campus in Yucaipa, the M.A. in Psychology program with an emphasis in Professional Clinical Counseling has a practice-oriented approach with substantial practical experience for graduate students looking to exceed requirements for becoming a Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC). In the 63-credit curriculum, students will take courses in lifespan development, psychological assessment, ethics, research methods, marital systems, human diversity, psychopathology, diagnosis, psychopharmacology, crisis intervention, and more with three practicum requirements.

M.A. in Psychology, Marriage and Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling

As a unique combined degree program, the M.A. in Psychology program with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling is designed for Brandman students who wish to explore their career opportunities in the human services fully. Offered on-campus at 17 locations across California, the 69-credit curriculum provides a streamlined, accelerated approach for fulfilling the requirements for both LMFT and LPCC licensing requirements in the state. With their experience in both mental health and family intervention, graduates will have more marketability for working in diverse therapy settings.


  • Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC)


16355 Laguna Canyon Road
Irvine, CA 92618
(949) 753-4774
Program Link

Whether you're looking to break into the human services field, bring your knowledge on behavior to the business world, treat mental health disorders clinically, or conduct fascinating research on the human mind, earning a degree in psychology can be the perfect fit for reaching your career objectives. Turn your passion for improving the well-being of others into a rewarding career by considering attending one of these accredited psychology degree programs in California.

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